Iron Rich Foods for Prevention of Anemia – Daily Notable
By: Pakeeza Ali (Nutritionist)
We all want to feel happy, alert, motivated and full of vitality. This article is aimed at anyone who finds themselves constantly tired, unmotivated, stressed and low in mood because nutritional imbalances may be affecting your mood and energy levels. Let’s take a glance at what iron deficiency anemia actually is.
Iron deficiency, anemia results from low or depleted stores of iron which is needed to produce red blood cells. Further, Iron is an essential element for almost all living organisms as it participates in a huge variety of metabolic processes including oxygen transport and DNA synthesis. With iron deficiency the red blood cells tend to be small and pale.
When our bodies don’t have enough iron, many parts of our body get affected. Anemia can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, tiredness, glossitis, pale skin, decreased immune function. Iron deficiency can delay normal infant motor function and can increase the risk of small or preterm babies.
However, iron sufficiency can provide many health benefits. Iron can treat anemia, boost haemoglobin, minimize fatigue, improve concentration etc. Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. During pregnancy iron is essential to support your baby’s developing blood supply as well as your own. In fact, iron recommendation nearly doubles when you are expecting.
Infants, young children, teens, and women are more prone to anemia deficiency. According to national nutrition survey, conducted in 2011, 37% of pregnant women are iron deficient. In Pakistan, 32.2% of the children from 6 months to five years of age had iron deficiency anemia.
Diets low in iron, body changes, GIT problems, blood loss are root cause of iron deficiency. Organizations are making strategies to combat this deficiency through food fortification, dietary modification and supplementation. In today’s fast food world, how would you know what food to take for what? You can prevent iron deficiency anemia through a balanced diet which include red meat, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach), peas, beetroot, eggs, dried fruits and nuts, dates, apples, pomegranate, lentiles and beans, seafood such as oysters, clams.
Additionally, you may need vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron. The good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, red and green bell peppers. There are many supplements that you can use to boost your iron status but you should not use them without consulting a nutritionist. – PUNA